Come to any BritSwim swimming lesson, and you’ll see a bunch of toys, games, and seemingly random items like mirrors and cups, lined up by the side of the pool.
Teaching is more effective when the student is enjoying themselves. And everyone learns differently. BritSwim teachers aim to make every part of every lesson fun.
That doesn’t mean a free-for-all games-fest; rather, we make careful use of teaching aids to engage the students, whether that means an underwater treasure hunt, or using your favourite toy to mark the length you can reach with a push-and-glide, or improving a student’s freestyle arms by having them reach for a ball.
Toys and games can be incentives: coaxing a beginner into immersing their face for the first time, for example, is far easier when there’s a mirror just under the surface, or a cute little turtle to reach for.
They can also act as rewards – after mastering a particularly tough skill, like dolphin kick, it’s a welcome relief to have a diving-for-toys competition, but also a great way to put that same skill into practice, so we’ll rule that the toys must be caught using dolphin kick only.
And even the more obviously-practical swimming aids can be turned into something more fun; a kickboard, held on the chest while practicing backstroke legs, is a teddy bear you have to cuddle.
Noodles can be cars, powered by your superfast kick, or horses to race across the pool.
The more ways we use what we have available, and the deeper we can engage our students, the better they will learn.